Oh, my. My my my. Thank you to everyone who rushed to stroke my hair and tell me I’m a GOOD AND KIND AND VERY USEFUL ENGINE. You are sweet and silly because of course I wasn’t saying that I suck in every possible way, I was just venting on having done something I regretted, and then life goes on.
Of course, those of you who took this opportunity to lecture me on what I should say or do remind me that yes, one DOES need to be careful about what they blog, because there is always someone out there who 1) assumes they know you inside and out from just a peek into your life and 2) therefore feels entitled to tell you how to behave. Yes, I am duly chastened. Thanks for that. Now, given that we’re so close and all, maybe you could get your ass over here and do the dishes? I mean, since we’re on such intimate terms. Thanks.
As for us, amazingly the earth continued to spin and our routines marched onward.
There’s a bit of skulking around that happens after a marital skirmish; we’re both sorry, we want to move on and forget about That Thing that was unpleasant but has been analyzed and discussed and apologized and whatever, but things just feel a little off, and it’s not as though everything snaps immediately back into place.
In situations like these, both Otto and I revert to the love languages we speak best. I smothered some really nice salmon in about half a head of garlic and some other spices and grilled it up for dinner last night, and Otto graciously drove all the way out to Middle Nowhere—after a full day of work, and in the un-air-conditioned truck—to pick up a daybed I’d spotted on Craigslist and wanted for the kids’ playroom.
By the time we’d unloaded the bed and moved it upstairs, all residual feelings of discomfit had run their course, and we passed the evening watching Mythbusters while I worked on my laptop and looked up periodically to see how battered poor Buster was looking now.
This morning we negotiated a trade wherein Otto ran the kids to school and I took the snowmobile to the body shop, and it was all very cozy and domestic. Plus, they rented me a Prius so that was pretty cool, because what is not to like about a car that you start by sliding a box of Tic-Tacs into a slot and then pushing a big button? NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT.
And in the meantime, the settling in is moving along even when I think it’s not. Like, I think I mentioned that we were very ambivalent about the kids taking the bus, but then I discovered that waiting in the pick-up line for an hour every afternoon was GOING TO KILL ME, so after a “test run” of having them ride the bus home, we have arrived at the compromise that the kids will receive a ride TO school (both because the bus comes at the butt-crack of dawn—too early—and dropping off is a drive-through, simple process) but will ride the bus HOME from school without much complaint.
The first day on the bus, Monkey was a bit overwhelmed and cried a little, and so of course some pack of vulture-like older boys tormented him mercilessly, which of course made him cry more. At home we had to have the “if you don’t cry they won’t tease you” discussion, which caused me to die a little on the inside, but it was a good reminder for me that life, she requires a fair bit of sucking it up even at a fairly young age. Do I want to teach my son that it’s wrong to cry? No. But I want him to not be teased even more, and so I will do my best to let him know that there’s nothing wrong with crying, but maybe we could save it for someplace where bullies can’t use it against us. Sigh. (The good news is that he’s been fine ever since, which just goes to show you that even squishy, snuggly, sensitive Mama’s boys can grow a little bit of crunchy shell when needed.)
And then, well, I was paying bills last night and noticed a charge from Chickadee’s orthodontist up north, which I thought was very odd because, gee, aren’t we done paying them yet? Seems like I’ve been making payments to them forever, and she doesn’t even have braces yet. So then I went back in my records and discovered that in fact, they’ve been charging me every month—sometimes TWICE!—and I hadn’t even noticed. Whoops. I added it all up, and whaddaya know, it looks like I’ve now paid for that stupid wire in her mouth plus several additional boat payments for the orthodontist.
This is the sort of crisis I’m excellent at. Do you want to overcharge ME, the Queen of Cheap, for something? Well, you just need to ask yourself one question: Do you feel lucky?
My phone call with the orthodontist’s office this morning was highly entertaining, first as they ASSURED me that they’d done no such thing, then as she went through her records looking for the billing dates and amounts I gave her, and finally when she continued to maintain that I must be in error and I offered to simply dispute the charges through my credit card company she magically unearthed the extra charges. “Oh, that’s a keystroke error,” she assured me, as if that made it all better.
“That’s a rather pricey keystroke error,” I pointed out, “so I’m sure you’ll be fixing that for me right away, since it’s so easy to do?” (I’m still an asshole. This time I was a justified one, though.) Now I’m feeling a bit rich because hey! Money I didn’t know I had! But I plan to blow it all on fast living and extra mortgages, so don’t be too jealous.
Last night I also found out—although it’s not clear if my source was accurate or not—the highly-lauded gifted program in this district (which requires testing for admittance) apparently only does testing in the Spring. Now, I have played nice and whenever I inquired about the program I accepted the head pat and accompanying explanation about how the kids have to test in, they can’t just be PUT in on my good word (or, apparently, on Monkey’s test scores, which the staff spent most of his 504 meeting marveling over and pointing out how they’d never seen such a high IQ at his age, thankyouverymuch), but upon being told that they’d basically just have to sit out the entire year because the testing isn’t done in the Fall? Um, no. Not okay. I put on my best southern charm and emailed the principal to discuss this matter, because I’m CERTAIN that the information I received was ERRONEOUS. I just KNOW that things can’t possibly be set in stone like that and that children new to the district could potentially be deprived of an entire year of instruction this way, right? Bless their hearts.
In other news, I was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, except I wasn’t, and that was sort of exciting right up until the righteous indignation kicked in.
Listen, don’t ever worry about me. As the song says, I get knocked down and I get up again, because the business of being me, it’s pretty time consuming. It’s a full-time job being me. It’s not like I get to take a vacation whenever my widdle feelings get bruised. I’ve got things to do, like see how many errands I can manufacture to take that Prius out on, and work to take care of, and more prepositions to dangle (my GOD I think I may have left my grammar skills at the car rental place), and bills to dispute and Mama Bear-ing to do on the kids’ behalf and there simply isn’t time to sit around wallowing for very long.